Preliminary rounds of the IHSAA Boys Swimming Sectionals are in the books, and all that’s left is the glory.
Thursday rounds from Warsaw and Concord sectionals have the stages set for Saturday’s championship rounds, which will determine what swimmers and divers will continue on in the state tournament.
Diving prelims will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and conclude with the swim championships, which begin at 1 p.m. at both sites.
Elkhart Central threw a wrench into the spokes of the Northridge speed engine, at least in setting up the Saturday championships. Austin Dreamer is the top seed in the 100 free at 48.99 and the Central 400 free relay is tops heading into the finals with a 3:17.68, a 38-second drop from its seed time coming into the night. The Blazers have several others peppered into the finals, which will push the incumbent Raiders to work for its defense of the reign its had at the sectional.
Ridge does have six top lane times heading into the finals, led by its medley relay at 1:39.15 and 200 free relay at 1:30.86. Spencer Lehman will lead both the individual medley at 1:56.17 and the 500 free at 4:40.82, but expect those times to drop considerably as Lehman is the defending state champion in the 500 and has a seed four seconds lower in the IM.
Connor Glenn in the 200 (1:45.26) and Camden Koch in the backstroke (53.52) give Ridge two more championship hopes.
Angola’s Nathan Bourne is the frontrunner in both the 50 (21.94) and the butterfly (52.28) and Concord’s Kallaghan Findley leads the breaststroke at 59.69.
Wawasee had all three of its relays in the championship flight, the medley eighth, the 200 fourth and the 400 fourth. Brady Robinson is sitting in second in both the IM (1:56.40) and the butterfly (54.04) while Jared Krugman is also swimming for a pair of championships after taking fourth in the 500 (4:56.79) and second in the 200 (1:48.74).
NorthWood did not qualify anyone into a championship swim for Saturday.
Several teams have leaders heading into the finals of the Warsaw sectional, five to be exact. And only one event has a ‘Warsaw’ next to a leader, which could make for an interesting chase to the finish of the team standings.
Culver Academy and Columbia City have four of the top prelim times after Thursday’s work, Rochester, Warsaw and Tippecanoe Valley with one each. Academy’s 200 (1:33.34) and 400 (3:28.24) free relays plus the top 200 free swim from Justin Matei (1:51.37) and top IM swim from Frank Baumgartner (2:02.65) have the Eagles screaming. The other Eagles from Columbia City have Ryan Devito on top of the butterfly (54.60) and the 500 free (5:01.70) while Matt Webber leads the 100 free (51.03) and Aaron Fix the backstroke at 57.19.
Rochester leads the medley relay at 1:48.06, Tippy’s Chase Brower leads the 50 at 22.87 and Warsaw’s Grant Knight is out front of the breaststroke at 1:00.64.
Where the team title will be won or lost is the depth, and for the hosts, they have plenty of it. Evan Borchers is sitting third in the 200 free and fly, Nick Zogbi is third in the IM and backstroke, Alex Cook is second in the 50 and fourth in the 100, Hudson Snyder is second in the 500 and fourth in the 200, Zach LaLonde is fourth in the 50 and backstroke, Jacob LaLonde is fifth in the 100 and eighth in the 200, Ian Deming is fourth in the fly and sixth in the 50, Matt Hastings is sixth in the backstroke and eighth in the 500, Nick Bazzoni is third in the breaststroke and eighth in the IM, Knight is second in the IM and all three of the Tiger relays are sitting in second heading into Saturday.
Brower is second in the 100 and Valley is sitting in sixth in both the medley and 400 free relays.